PhD Candidate

Penny Pascoe

Current research

My PhD research is investigating the use of stable isotope analysis for quantifying the progression of island ecosystem recovery following invasive mammal eradications.

What my project involves

I am undertaking a large-scale natural experiment on islands from around New Zealand, Australia and the sub-Antarctic, comparing food webs and isotopic enrichment on islands at different stages post eradication to still invaded and never invaded islands. I am investigating the potential of this technique as a cost- and time-efficient ecosystem assessment tool, allowing post-eradication monitoring to occur on island where limited resources prevent extensive population level monitoring.

Fun trivia about my research

Research project in a haiku

Oceanic foragers breeding on islands
Seabirds and predators don’t live together well
Eradications lead to more guano

Research-related interests

Conservation, remote ecosystems, seabirds, hiking, skiing, running.

About me

I also did my honours with MPred in 2014, but in the intervening years I spent time travelling and working on several different research and conservation projects.

Previous work I've done

At the end of 2014 I worked as a research scientist with the Australian Antarctic Division looking at the effects of ocean acidification on marine microbial communities at Davis Station. I then spent a year travelling around South America and volunteered as a research assistant looking into fisheries by-catch in Lima, Peru, benthic invertebrate taxonomy in Chilean Patagonia, and hooded-grebe conservation in Argentinean Patagonia. From 2016-2018 I spent 18-months working on Macquarie Island, first as a research assistant on the albatross and petrel monitoring project, and then as the island’s wildlife ranger. Since then I have worked as a guide on cruise ships in the Kimberley and the sub-Antarctic and assisted with seabird monitoring projects on various Australian and New Zealand islands before returning starting my PhD in 2019.

Committees and affiliations

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